about 3 years ago
Noah's Ark Children's Hospice is a community based hospice service providing support for children and young people with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families in the North London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington.
Purpose of Role:
Living with a child’s diagnosis can place considerable strain on the whole family and in recognition of this the Family Support Volunteer programme was established in 2008 to help families cope with the demands of providing constant care.
Home Support volunteers aim to provide emotional, social and practical support to family members during the child’s life and during the period following the child’s death if appropriate. Becoming a Home Support volunteer is a serious commitment but it provides a rewarding opportunity to directly support children with life-limiting / life threatening conditions and their families.
Noah’s Ark take their responsibility for safeguarding the wellbeing of children seriously and this role is subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Application. 2 references are also required.
Opportunities of the role:
- Build knowledge of many different play activities
- Gain experience of working directly with family members
- Develop communication skills with children that have unique needs
The needs of individual families will differ and much will depend on the personal skills, qualities, interests and availability of an individual volunteer. However, support will typically fall into one of three categories:
- An extra pair of hands, helping the children with reading, homework or playing games
- Helping a parent to manage outings during the school holidays
- Providing support on hospital visits or occasional shopping trips
- Providing companionship to a sibling by taking them to the cinema or park
- Providing a listening ear for a parent
Practical Support For example, providing support with:
- Transport by driving a family member to the hospital or the shops
- Helping to pack boxes when moving home
Qualities/experience/skills needed for each of the above roles:
Although experience of working with children or families is desirable, it is not essential and we welcome volunteers from all backgrounds with all sorts of skills. However, for this role volunteers will need:
- To be reliable and responsible
- A professional outlook
- An understanding of all Family Support training
- Good communication skills and enthusiasm
- Good listener and able to provide emotional support
- The ability to cope with stressful situations
- To be non-judgemental and committed to Noah’s Ark’s Equal Opportunities Policy
PLEASE NOTE: in none of the above roles will Home Support volunteers have sole responsibility for a child with medical needs and will not be expected to undertake any personal care or administer medication.
Volunteers would usually commit to visiting a family once a week / fortnight; however, frequency and times will vary dependent on a family’s needs and a volunteer’s availability.
Home Support volunteers will also be required to complete and return Support Records following a visit and attend Supervision (support groups) every 2 months.
It is hoped that volunteers can commit to supporting a family for a minimum of 12 months.
Noah’s Ark supports families living in the London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, and Islington. Volunteers will be matched geographically as much as is possible.
Interviews and Training:
At Noah’s Ark we value volunteer support, but we are also aware that not all roles are suitable for everyone. The interview and training process is in place to ensure that the Noah’s Ark staff get to know more about you, to ensure that you are given the correct training for the role and so that you can find out if this is a role you would like to undertake. The training process is as follows:
- Attend a Volunteer Induction (all potential volunteers have to attend one of these sessions before they are able to get involved in any capacity)
- Attend a 1st Interview (If successful at this stage the volunteer would then be invited to join the next training programme)
- Attend Training Any volunteers wanting to work directly with Noah’s Ark families are required to attend the 2 day Core Module (Saturday and Sunday). This will be followed by a second interview before progression is allowed on to the ‘Home Module’ training (2 weekday evenings). Training programmes are run at regular intervals throughout the year.
Minimum Age: 18 years
If you would like more information or to apply for the role, please email Annette Higgs at firstname.lastname@example.org